Friday, April 6, 2012

EPL Power Rankings - Title Chase Over?

United has opened a 5-point lead with seven matches remaining after City clawed back to a draw against Sunderland after being down 3-1. United has a fairly easy road ahead, but the same can not be said for Manchester City. If they lose to Arsenal at Emirates on Sunday, their title hopes are all but over. I, for one, hope that City wins this week and continues to push for the title (I honestly just want Arsenal to lose). For Arsenal, a misstep against Queens Park Rangers has opened the doors for Tottenham to reclaim 3rd , but only 5 points separate the two North London squads from Chelsea and Newcastle. Liverpool is now EIGHTH, and their bitter rival Everton are above them on the table. Can the Reds turn things around, or are they better off just trying to win the FA Cup and prepare for next season?

It's also the time of year where teams play two matches in very close succession, so we'll see who runs deep and who runs on fumes. Onto this week's power rankings:

Title Contenders:
(1) Manchester United – 76 pts – Could wrap up the title this week with a win over QPR and a Man City loss to Arsenal.
(2) Manchester City – 71 pts – Must win on Sunday against Arsenal, who also are looking at every match as a must-win.

Race for 3rd:
(3) Arsenal – 58 pts – Not a strong performance against QPR; huge matchup against City on Sunday.
(4) Tottenham – 58 pts – Finally won a league match and will face a tough Sunderland squad playing good football.
(5) Chelsea – 53 pts – Gets a nice matchup against Wigan, but will they be tired from their Champions League exploits and overlook the Latics?
(6) Newcastle – 53 pts – Got Swansea today, and with Papiss Demba Cisse in top form right now, should win.

Sorry Liverpool, you realistically don't have a chance to finish top 4, so you are now part of the mid-table:
(7) Liverpool – 42 pts – Newcastle was a tough opponent but should have done better. Reina "headbutting" Perch? Not a smart move and will miss out on the FA Cup Semi-finals as well. Things are not good at Anfield right now. Their EPL season is pretty much over.
(8) Sunderland – 41 pts – Playing really well and should have won against City. Host Tottenham this week.
(9) Everton – 43 pts – Looking for a win against Norwich to move up the table.
(10) Fulham – 39 pts – Did well to beat Norwich, get bottom-feeder Bolton this week.
(11) Swansea City – 39 pts – Face a strong Newcastle team, so things don't look good for Swans.
(12) Stoke City – 38 pts – How do you lose to Wigan? Surely cannot lose to Wolves too.
(13) Norwich City – 39 pts – Home against Everton is definitely winnable.
(14) West Bromwich Albion – 36 pts – Play Rovers. Yawn.
(15) Aston Villa – 33 pts – Almost came back against Chelsea but fell short. Can they add to Liverpool's misery?

The Relegation Zone (it's getting close!)
(16) Blackburn Rovers – 28 pts – They could beat WBA.
(17) Bolton Wanderers – 29 pts - Home against Fulham is a winnable.
(18) Queens Park Rangers – 28 pts – Not sure how they beat Arsenal; no chance against United.
(19) Wigan Athletic – 28 pts – Would be a huge win if they can ruin Chelsea's top 4 aspirations.
(20) Wolverhampton Wanderers – 22 pts – Definitely going to get relegated.

Matchup Predictions (DOUBLE WEEK - 2 Matches for each team in a week span)

Last Week’s Record 6-4 (finally a winning record, stupid Arsenal and Liverpool)
Cumulative Record 25-24

Week 32 Matches

Friday - April 6th

Newcastle at Swansea - 3-1 - Swansea plays well at home, but Cisse continues his hot streak as Newcastle continues to put pressure on Spurs, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

Saturday - April 7th

Spurs at Sunderland 2-1 - Spurs come out a bit flat but figure it out. I hope.
Fulham at Bolton - 2-2 - Bolton finds a way to get a draw here.
Wigan at Chelsea - 1-2 - Wigan puts a scare into the Blues, but that's about it.
Villa at Liverpool - 2-3 - Not sure how much longer I can keep picking Liverpool -- making me look bad.
Everton at Norwich - 1-1 - Seems like one of those matches that could end in a draw.
Rovers at WBA - 2-1 - No idea.
Wolves at Stoke - 0-2 - Can't pick Wolves. Ever.

Sunday - April 8th

QPR at United - 0-3 - United cannot be topped.
City at Arsenal - 2-2 - Match of the week! Aguero should be back in the lineup for City. I see City fighting hard to win it, but Arsenal holding for a draw at the end.

Week 33 Matches

Monday - April 9th

Sunderland at Everton - 1-2 - Everton has been good at home this season.
Bolton at Newcastle - 0-3 - Newcastle firing on all cylinders
Norwich at Spurs - 0-2 - Spurs should take this at home.
Stoke at Villa - 1-2 - Villa in a surprise upset.
Chelsea at Fulham - 3-2 - Match of the week! Nice rivalry of the London squads; Chelsea prevails after Dempsey puts Fulham up early.

Tuesday - April 10th

Liverpool at Rovers - 2-1 - They have to win at some point.

Wednesday - April 11th

WBA at City - 0-2 - Shouldn't be too difficult.
United at Wigan - 3-1 - Shouldn't be too difficult.
Arsenal at Wolves - 4-1 - Shouldn't be too difficult.
Swansea at QPR - 1-1 - No clue.

Photos courtesy of and


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